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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Kwanalu condemns latest farm murder, calls for genuine action

CEO of Kwanalu, Sandy La Marque, has hit out strongly at local and provincial government leaders and politicians following the brutal murder, on Friday, 9 April of Winterton farmer, Neil Mckay, calling on those in power to urgently address the increasing levels of crime in rural areas.

“We need less politics and theatrics and more genuine action. There is a total disregard for law and order, and more must be done by government, politicians and leaders to address the crime that is taking place in our rural areas,” said La Marque.

Mckay’s murder is the second farm murder in 2021 and the seventh farm attack.

“The SAPS are currently conducting their investigations and we are working together with them and the community. Kwanalu’s newly appointed Security Desk representative, Freddie van Tonder has been on scene to ensure that everything is being done to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” said La Marque.

La Marque said a collective effort is required to address the increasing crime levels in rural areas in the province.

“Kwanalu, and its members, are doing everything possible to make a difference, namely being involved in all relevant structures and proactively addressing land and other issues which affect our members. Our members are spending millions on safety and security but they cannot do this alone, we need sufficient budget allocation, resources, commitment from all the relevant stakeholders, including government, the justice department, SAPS etc to see a difference,” said La Marque.

This incident, comes amidst the recent comments by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, of tensions between farmers and farmworkers with regards to land issues, which La Marque has deemed “unjustifiable and inflammatory”.

“Kwanalu has been proactive in discussions with government in particular regarding labour tenants and farm dwellers. After the double farm murder that took place in Normandien late last year, we know tensions were raised and this sparked interest from government. Following which a special task team was initiated with instructions for solutions to be found.  Kwanalu and its members have tried to participate however there has been little progress and it appears that the matter is no longer that important to those that are meant to lead the process,” said La Marque.

“We are committed to finding solutions and have recently implemented two Desks at Kwanalu with specifically allocated resources to address land issues and rural development and economic reform,” she said.

Kwanalu extends its deepest condolences to the family and community of Winterton.